Players on board with Project Restart as momentum builds for D-Day

The Premier League held productive meetings with managers and captains on Tuesday afternoon, ahead of the decisive week for Project Restart. Even figures like Troy Deeney – who had been most vocal about not wanting to return out of health concerns – are said to have been impressed with the extent of detail and scientific research offered. After a period when those player concerns had been seen as the main obstacle to Project Restart, a number of factors have turned the mood. From that, the Premier League has sought to build a picture of safety for the players, using all of the latest science and research. The key has been to show that as many areas as possible are being looked at, to as safe a level as possible, and illustrate to players and managers that every possible precaution is being taken. Influential in this has been the Premier League’s incorporation of a “Player Proximity” white paper by STATSports – the company who make GPS vests for 15 of its clubs – that was ableto track how many two-metre incursions there are par training session. Many players had been using STATSports technology in their own time, to track their figures, with something of a football vs rugby rivalry developing. England international Jonny May’s 23.13mph has just been trumped by Manchester United’s Dan James, at 23.3 mph James’ club are meanwhile among those fully content with the plans, and the widespread expectation is that the two votes are “only going one way”.